IN the early part of my career we advertised for a biologist and a site manager at the same time. For the biologist job we received 150 applicants, for the manager’s three. I was astounded at the difference.The remuneration was broadly similar yet one had career prospects and the other’s was apparently very limited.
Why is management perceived to be something that is at the end of people’s career lists? It was a question that came to dog me throughout my career.
As I write this column, the Prime Minister has been talking about greed at the top of corporate structures and I am not going to disagree with the issue. Where I have a problem is singling out this greed.
When it was discovered that Chris Evans is paid £2 million a year did we all talk about corruption or greed? Not really, yet what is he When a footballer is bought for £200 million do we rail against a system that pays a person who can use their feet to an extraordinary degree over a person who can build a house or skipper a boat or manage a complex business?
The perception that management is a bad thing per se riddles our thinking in Britain and, to an even greater degree, in Scotland and it needs to stop.
We all know that a country full of badly run companies will have a weak economy and, in the long run, poor employment and low pay.
But we are told by the media that the problem with the NHS, for example, is too many managers, the idiotic suggestion being that if we got rid of them it would run smoothly.
The constant inference politically is that management has to be contained, constrained and controlled or else it will be a malign force on society.
However, we need to regard the management of business as a parallel to becoming a doctor, lawyer or accountant.
These professions are well paid and seen as critical to a successful society. But as I have often pointed out, doctors, lawyers and accountants only thrive in societies with a successful business community.
Doctors need there to be strong tax generation in the UK, and lawyers and accountants are funded by strong business too.
Of course, I was in management and therefore would feel this way, but there is more to it than that I hope.
We all like to be appreciated but that is not the issue for me either. More than anything, management is the art of working with people, forming teams, getting everyone to see themselves in light of a team and working towards a common goal.
Its role is to motivate, encourage and drive personal development. In other words, it is there to give people a greater chance.
Sure, there is room for abuse as there is in any position of authority, but there is also a much larger place for ethical behaviour.
Fish farming needs good management more than any other business I know because of the vagaries and dangers
Added to this is the requirement for multi-skilled, independent people who are sent tasks in awkward conditions.
The organisation required is critical, not just to the business but to people’s safety and security.
The attitude that only certain types of people go for management will give us a certain type of management.
But to get good management, you need good people. So ask yourself when you read this, if you are not yet in management, why shouldn’t you be?
If you don’t want to be a manager then don’t ever complain about the manager you have if they are less than perfect.You only have yourself to blame!
The required is